The Bucks County Health Department Director is advocating for schools in Bucks to let their students go maskless. It comes as COVID-19 case numbers in Bucks schools are extremely low.
Dr. David Damsker spoke at Central Bucks School District’s school board meeting Wednesday. With plenty of input from many parents, it lasted for nearly four hours.
In the end, the board voted narrowly in favor of doing away with mandated masks. The policy goes into effect Monday for the district’s last full week of classes before the summer break.
Parents have said they will try to encourage the school boards for Council Rock, Pennsbury, or Neshaminy School Districts to make a similar decision.
Damsker noted case spread in Bucks County schools is incredibly low.
“There’s 105,000 students and staff in Bucks County. We’ve averaged three cases a day since last Wednesday,” said Damsker. He noted his guidance has nothing to do with the efficacy of masks.
The local health director also stated, “the epidemiology right now does not meet the requirement for a full mask mandate” in Bucks or even the state.
“I’ve always said that because you have people’s freedom in your hands for some of these commutable disease situations you want to do the least restrictive thing for the least amount of time. I’ve always tried to do that.”
Damsker was one voice against the grain last year on the issue of in-person attendance in schools. As early as August 6, 2020, he urged school boards in Bucks to consider opening for in-person classes. He also called for high school student athletes to participate in fall sports.
Local groups, including Reopen Bucks County PA, championed the CBSD school board’s decision. Reopen Bucks founder Josh Hogan called on members to send an email to the Bucks County Commissioners thanking them for standing behind Damsker throughout the pandemic.
“Because of him, kids in Bucks were in school more than any other PA county, and now we are ending the mask requirements,” Hogan posted on Facebook.
The group is now looking to other school districts hoping to overturn their mask requirements as well. They are calling on supporters to attend Thursday evening’s Council Rock School District meeting at 7 p.m.